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UPDATED 10/03/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/03/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

Oprah's life, love and waistline are under control (PEOPLE, Sept. 12), and most correspondents couldn't be happier for her. A handful of naysayers complain that her triumphs are getting tiresome, and some are dubious that she can slip into a size 8 without the aid of a crowbar.

OPRAH
Oprah Winfrey has the best program of its kind on TV. All of her caring and hard work have resulted in helping people, enlightening them and enriching their lives. We are lucky to have her.
FRANCES TERRELL LIPPMAN, LOS Angeles

In my opinion, despite her enormous success, Oprah has been very scarred by her childhood and simply cannot commit to marriage or children. A lot of us talk a good game, but sometimes, no matter what we know intellectually, we can't jump over the hurdles of a too painful past. It's a shame, because she'd be a great mom.
BARBARA WINE, Chicago

As a former overweight person myself, I admire the way Oprah has made peace with food, which can be difficult until we make peace with ourselves. That is her greatest accomplishment.
JACKIE BURSE, Ontario, Calif.

Oprah Winfrey is 5'7", weighs 150 lbs. and wears a size 8? Designer clothes must be sized quite differently than those I buy off the rack.
JEAN MAGEE, Dallas

BARBARA LAZEAR ASCHER
I'm incensed. Barbara Lazear Ascher let her brother die alone and then has the nerve to say she wasn't there to say "I forgive you"? Whatever did she have to forgive him for? She was the one who betrayed him with judgments on his life. Later, she says of the dying AIDS patients she professes to be helping, "We have to love the people who are difficult to love." What is "difficult to love" about someone who is dying of any illness? She sounds like the one I'd find difficult to love, despite her professed goodwill.
LYNNE CUTLER, Berkeley, Calif.

BRIAN BOWN
I find it disturbing that Brian Bown thinks it is unconstitutional and abhorrent to observe a whole minute of silence in the classroom. During that time students can pray, read Darwin or their history books; no one is forced to do anything religious. I think there are more important things in this world than to challenge a statute that doesn't seem to hurt anyone.
BIRGIT PHELPS, Morgan Hill, Calif.

This country is infested with crime, of which children and teenagers contribute more than their share, and Mr. Bown is up in arms because he's being required to shut up for 60 seconds every day? I can personally think of hundreds of things more frightening than a student's praying or pulling a Bible!
SANDRA KINGREY, Richmond, Va.

A minute of quiet reflection certainly seems mundane compared with the violence, lack of money and other problems school systems face today. Frankly, as a veteran teacher, I would welcome a minute of silence at the beginning of my harried workday. In fact, I would thank God for it.
RUTH B. TAYLOR, Jacksonville, Ala.

HOLLYWOOD SMOKING
I am 28 years old and have never smoked, even though my father, whom I admire more than any Hollywood hero, is addicted to cigarettes. Anyone in my generation who smokes does so because he or she made a conscious decision to smoke knowing the unhealthy consequences. No Hollywood movie has twisted our minds and forced us to smoke. When are we going to start acknowledging that people are responsible for their own actions and quit blaming everything on everyone else? As for your statement about Winona Ryder making smoking so sexy—give me a break!
WENDY B. SELLERS, Placentia, Calif.

KATO KAELIN
It's a disgrace that you published an article on Kato Kaelin. He's nothing but a parasite who lives off other people. He has used the tragic deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman as an opportunity to gain notoriety. The fact that he's a guest host for E! TV's Talk Soup (shame on E!), is being offered movie roles and is supposedly hanging with the in-crowd makes me sick.
LARA CRISTIN POLLOCK, Wayne, N.J.

If the grotesque tragedy of the Simpson murders catapults this moron to fame and fortune, I will believe that the day of the locust is upon us.
KEN ANDERSON, West Hollywood, Calif.

ALAN ZWEIBEL
Your article on Alan Zweibel's book Bunny, Bunny, about his friendship with Gilda Radner (Aug. 29 issue), left out a significant fact—probably because Alan is such a great and modest guy. One hundred percent of his revenues from the book will go to Gilda's Club, which will fulfill Gilda's last wish for free cancer-support communities in New York and across the country.
JOANNA BULL, Executive Director and Vice President, Gilda's Club, New York City

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